Let's get out the calculator.
Drew Doughty wants five years, not seven, because he wants his giant payday ASAP. The idea is, if he signs now for a paltry $6.8MM, he'll be screwing himself out of two years of whatever the inflated market value for Doughty is going to be (in his imagination) in 2016 and 2017.
Okay, so let's say, in 2016, he could get
$11MM per year in a UFA contract. I'm pulling that number out of a hat, but I think it reflects roughly how salaries have escalated over the last five years (and in any case, it doesn't matter if the number is low or high, because if it's low or high in five years, it's going to be low or high in seven, and that's what we're dicking around about -- those two hugely valuable UFA years that Doughty doesn't want to give away).
That's $4.2MM per year he would be out for those two seasons (the difference between the paltry $6.8MM and his imagined huge paydate of $11MM). So, he's getting screwed out of $8.4MM. Hey, that's a lot of money.
Plus, he wants $7MM now, not $6.8MM. So, over those five years, that's another million dollars Doughty is losing by accepting the horrible $6.8MM for seven years.
However, if we're assuming that salaries are going to continue to escalate and inflate out of control over the next five years, don't we also have to assume they will continue to do so after that? Answer: of course. And so, doesn't it stand to reason that Doughty could get more from his UFA deal in 7 years than from his UFA deal in 5 years?
He'll be 28, instead of 26. Not really old enough to be able to argue he won't still be "in his prime." The fact is, he'll be in his prime at the end of the Doughty dream deal (2016) and at the end of the Lombardi nightmare deal (2018). He had better be.
Okay, so, if he can get $11MM in 2016, how does that prorate to 2018 (if he waits two more years to go UFA)? It comes out to $12.6MM, assuming salaries continue to escalate. So let's say, in this fantasyland we've created, Doughty is imagining signing a seven year deal in 2016, at $11MM per year. This would take him to age 33. What happens if he waits till he's 28 and signs a deal for $12.6MM for 5 years, also taking him to age 33?
Doughty gets totally screwed, right? He would have to, wouldn't he? Otherwise, all this insistence on going UFA ASAP because of the big payday would be total B.S..
Well, in the Doughty pipe-dream scenario, in which Lombardi caves and gives him $7MM for five years, at which point he signs a sweet deal for $11MM for seven years, the total earned is $112MM.
And in the horrible, terrible, no-good, very-bad scenario in which Doughty caves and signs for $6.8MM for seven years, and then signs a UFA deal for $12.6MM for five years, the total earned is $110.6MM.
So, all of this bullshit about giving away UFA years is worth $1.4MM spread out over 12 years, which comes to just slightly less than $117,000 per year. And I'm pretty sure we could raise that amount of money through donations to get these people off their f***ing high horse, were that not (unfortunately) prohibited by the CBA.
$110.6MM is 98.75% of $112MM.
No, it turns out, the only thing that going UFA two years sooner does is allow Doughty to leave if he wants to, two years sooner.
Oh, I forgot one other very important detail. Take the same two scenarios, but factor in the fact that Doughty might have to sit out an entire season to get the deal he wants. Say he does that. And let's also say Lombardi is insane and then gives him a four year deal at $7MM, so he still goes UFA five years from now (from 2011, I mean). Same math, except Doughty is out $7MM, since he's been playing NHL12 on XBox all year.
Now, the crappy Lombardi scenario outperforms the Doughty scenario by $5.6MM.
That's right, Drew. You will earn more money on the crappy Lombardi deal than you will by holding out for your pie-in-the-sky deal. Millions more. All of which you could have...right now, since it's this year's money you would be throwing away.
But, guess who will come out smelling like a rose if you hold out and screw yourself out of a season's worth of money which you will never get back?
Don Meehan. Because when you sign your $7MM for four years deal next summer, Meehan will have "beaten" Lombardi.